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Resources for a Personal Learning Network

Resources for PLN:

Ning - - host collaborative communities.Classroom 2.0 - - Great site for 21st Century Learning

Twitter - - interact - 140 character messages.

Facebook - - create your own page - connect with others.

Myspace - - create your own page - connect with others.

Blogger - - create and search for blogs to read.

Edublogs - - create and search for blogs to read.

Slideshare - - find, read, and post presentations.

Discovery Educator Network - - over 100,000 participants, STAR educators, professional development sessions, blogs and more.

Delicious - - share web bookmarks with others (and find some).

Google Educators Forum - - discussions about using Goolge's Applications in the classroom.

PBS Teachers Connect - - discussions, resources, and more.

Professional Organizations - ex. National Science Teachers Association - - most have resources, discussion groups, and more.

YouTube - - lots of great videos for educational use.

TeacherTube - educational videos, documents, audio, and more. 
Also has a community discussion group.

Google Docs - share documents, presentations, and more with others. Create surveys.

Google Sites - - create web sites and wikis to share with others.
Wiki's - Wiki's are interactive web pages that multiple people can edit. It's a great way to have resources and ideas and let people add and comment on them.

WikiSpaces - - free wiki hosting

PBWorks - - free wiki hosting
(Google Sites can also be sued to create wikis)

iGoogle - - custom, personalized start page

Google Reader - - read RSS feeds - embed in iGoogle

Twitter - via Twitter Gadget (works in school) - embed in iGoogle

Also check out the following for building a PLN of your own using Web 2.0 tools:

From David Andrade
Original Posting can be found here.

A Personal Learning Network for Parents

As educators, we speak of Personal Learning Networks (PLN) for ourselves, and sometimes our students. But what about parents?

Parents need resources to help them stay connected with school and their child's education. School memos and newsletters are not enough. One phone number at the school is not enough. Even having the email and/or phone number of teachers and counselors is not enough.

Here are some things that schools and districts should do to help parents have a PLN of their own:

1. School website - constantly updated, with links, resources, news, information, and contacts for teachers and staff. Information should be easy to find and read. Website should also have built-in translation abilities or instructions for using something like Google Translate. This is very important for limited or non-English speaking parents.
School blogs and Twitter accounts can also be used to share information with parents.

2. Email addresses - for child's teachers, administrator, and counselor. And, email list for other resources, like the school nurse, social worker, ELL coordinator, etc.

3. Phone list - for everyone listed in email address above.

4. Monthly parent workshops where parents can come to the school and meet the faculty and staff and make connections. They would also learn about the different resources at the school and district and how these resources can help them and their child. These workshops could also focus on tips and resources for creating a rich learning environment in the home for their child. There could also be seminars on computers, English language, parenting, and more.

5. Parent-Teacher Association contacts and meeting times need to be well published also.

6. Online Student information system - parents should be able to access real time grades and attendance information about their child. Most SIS offer this now.

7. Schoolwork and Homework help - help parents understand how to help their children with homework, even if they don't understand the subject matter. Give them ideas on providing time and space for the student to work. Helping students get good nutrition and enough sleep. Giving parents a list of resources to pass onto the student (like websites, tutoring, and the library).

8- Other parents - They can make connections, talk, help each other, share ideas, carpooling, etc. Remember that with smart phones the parents are connected now they WANT to be a part of their child's education process. 
Many parents feel disconnected from schools, especially in the higher grades when there are multiple teachers and administrators to deal with. Schools must work to give parents easy access to information and resources, and make parents feel comfortable in contacting the school for help.